CLINTON TOWNSHIP (AP) — Romeo Weems didn't hide from expectations. He met them head-on.
A touted ninth-grader when he enrolled at New Haven, whose stock rose when the Rockets won a state championship in his sophomore season, Weems improved his game every year and capped his prep career by winning the Mr. Basketball award for Michigan.
He has since added a third consecutive state Player of the Year awards from The Associated Press, winning the Division 2 honor in a vote of sports writers from across Michigan.
"Romeo expected more from himself than any other person could have," New Haven coach Tedaro France II said. "He continued to work hard, staying in the gym and weight room, studying film and working on his game both physically and mentally."
The 6-foot-7 Weems, who has signed with DePaul, averaged 26.2 points, 10.8 rebounds, 4.2 steals and 3.5 assists while helping New Haven to a 24-2 record and a berth in the state quarterfinals.
His scoring average rose every season, and Weems had a career total of 2,151 points, more than any other player from Macomb County, according to a list compiled by the Michigan High School Athletic Association.
"Almost every night," France said, "he would face double and triple teams, and every junk defense in the book to try to stop him, but his ability to be the ultimate teammate and make the right reads and plays over and over made teams realize they couldn't use those defenses because he would hurt them in so many ways.
"He did not have to score to greatly impact the game. To put up the type of numbers he has despite being every teams' main focus every night shows how great he is and the trust he has in his teammates and in our system."
New Haven routinely played before large crowds. Fans sometimes directed unflattering chants at Weems, and some sought him out for autographs.
The attention, he often said, made him work harder.
"I'm just enjoying it all," he said while signing for a young fan after a regional victory over Pontiac.
New Haven did not lose a district or regional tournament game in Weems' four seasons. The Rockets made two state final-four appearances and won 99 games with Weems on the roster.
"Romeo brought to every practice the same passion, energy and hunger to compete that he brought to every game," France said. "He loves to practice and he loves to compete, which led to one of the greatest high school career performances I have seen as a coach."
Weems was joined on the All-State first team by 10 players, including senior Tyler VanKoevering of state champion Hudsonville Unity Christian and senior Nigel Colvin of state finalist River Rouge.
Also named by the writers' votes were SirQuarius Ball of Bridgeport; Austin Braun of Grand Rapids Catholic Central; Zach Goodline of Coloma; Carlos Johnson of Benton Harbor, Sean Cobb of Williamston; Brady Swinehart of Ionia; Charlie Woodhams of Otsego, and Sudi McElroy of Ferndale.
Johnson and Woodhams are juniors. The other first team players are seniors.
Scott Soodsma of Unity Christian was named Coach of the Year.
Division 2 All-State
The 2019 Associated Press Division 2 boys basketball All-State team as selected by a panel of nine Michigan sportswriters.
Player of the Year
- Romeo Weems, New Haven, Sr.
- Romeo Weems, New Haven, Sr.
- SirQuarius Ball, Bridgeport, Sr.
- Austin Braun, Grand Rapids Catholic Central, Sr.
- Tyler VanKoevering, Hudsonville Unity Christian, Sr.
- Zach Goodline, Coloma, Sr.
- Carlos Johnson, Benton Harbor, Jr.
- Sean Cobb, Williamston, Sr.
- Brady Swinehart, Ionia, Sr.
- Charlie Woodhams, Otsego, Jr.
- Sudi McElroy, Ferndale, Sr.
- Nigel Colvin, River Rouge, Sr.
- Coach of the Year
- Scott Soodsma, Hudsonville Unity Christian
- Second-Team All-State
- Reece Castor, Gladstone
- Joshua Laman, Ludington
- Kobe Bufkin, Grand Rapids Christian
- D'Quarion Cole, Pontiac
- Pierre Brooks II, Detroit Douglass
- Joel Schroeder, Pontiac
Markele Garrett, Bridgeport; Jarrett Kelley, Chesaning; Jayce Bourcier, Freeland; Cam Sutherland, Alma; Brec Alward, Alma; Riley Bugg, North Branch; Gerrid Rutledge, North Branch; Spencer Eves, Hillsdale; Clay Sampson, Ida; Travis Hill, Onsted; Ethan Alderink, Holland Christian; Cory Ainsworth, Wayland; Jamaal Bailey, Godwin Heights; Brad Osborne, Hamilton; Luke Schrotenboer, Grand Rapids South Christian; Solomon White, Forest Hills Eastern; Noah Wiswary, Hudsonville Unity Christian; Logan Karnemaat, Fremont; Connor Swinehart, Newaygo; Mason Docks, Williamston; Mitchell Mowid, Haslett; Logan LePage, Corunna; Liam Thompson, Ovid-Elsie; Jeremy Luciani, Marshall; Parker Ellifritz, Three Rivers; Isaac Davis, Plainwell; Karsen Barnhart, Paw Paw; Blake Lund, Linden; LaTa'Vius Vaughter, Clio; Logan LePage, Corunna; J.D. Rawls, Mt. Morris; Owen Lobsinger, Flint Powers; Ronald Jeffery III, New Haven; Drew Davis, Richmond; Teonta McKeithen, Ferndale; Alex Finney, Cranbrook; Jacob Martinson, Big Rapids; Nathan Burk, Parma Western, Derrick Bryant Jr., Harper Woods Chandler Park; Devon Bryant, Detroit Henry Ford; Parker LePage, Dearborn Divine Child; Micah Parrish, River Rouge; Tyland Tate, Harper Woods Chandler Park, Tyson Davis, Goodrich.Coach of the Year
Don Spencer, Carleton-Airport; JT Cleveland, Alma; James Scott, Harper Woods Chandler Park.